144 TWOV China- AA Issues/Questions

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Old Apr 4, 18, 7:52 pm   -   Wikipost
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AA Ground Staff May Deny Boarding for China Transit Without Visa Issues

This thread is ONLY for discussion of American Airlines' ground staff dealing with Chinese TWOV issues.
For further information, see:

FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > China Forum

China Visa / Visas Master Thread (all you need to know)

and / or

China 24, 72, and 144 hour Transit Without Visa ("TWOV") rules master thread

The issue: though Chinese immigration authorities seem disposed to allow transit without visa for passengers going on to flights with connections in non-China, non-origin destinations, e.g. LAX-PVG <permitted TWOV> PVG-NRT-LAX, AA ground staff have denied boarding to passengers for the XXX-China leg.

Even if such a passenger were to secure alternate arrangements or reimbursement, there is still sure to be considerable inconvenience. Until AA informs ground staff such travel complies with China TWOV rules, purchasing such an itinerary currently entails some degree of risk, as evidenced in the following thread.

AA generally uses IATA Timatic to verify boarding eligibility. Link to Timatic Web provided courtesy of United Airlines; this form provides information on entry requirements, not departure policies as might be administered by any airline.



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Old Sep 22, 17, 8:36 am
  #661  
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Originally Posted by donnywong View Post
I'm planning a trip from LHR to HKG and am thinking of starting in PEK for a few days. The best fares seem to be on CX at the moment.

But for purposes of the TWOV program, even though I am starting at LHR and only transiting via HKG to get to PEK, because I will be going back to PEK afterwards does this mean I am no longer eligible for TWOV?

And if I put the PEK leg at the end, since there are no CX flights from PEK to LHR, it will have to transit via HKG anyways, so again would this mean I just can't fly CX to take advantage of TWOV for a few days in China?
The thread for that question is not this one. See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/china...er-thread.html (which states you do not meet the TWOV requirements, as PEK is not an en route transit stop but a destination - as stated by HkCaGu).

The topic here is strictly AA ground staff denials of China TWOV.

Thank you, Moderator
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Old Nov 10, 17, 7:15 am
  #662  
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Question Good thread but confused

Hi -- thanks in advance. I am reading this thread and remain confused. I have a roundtrip award ticket from ORD-PEK on AA. I bought a separate roundtrip ticket PEK-HKG on CX that leaves a couple hours after the AA flight lands and on the return to PEK I have about 10 hours.

Last edited by BOStonTravels; Nov 10, 17 at 7:30 am Reason: posted in a more appropriate thread
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Old Nov 10, 17, 7:39 am
  #663  
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Originally Posted by BOStonTravels View Post
Hi -- thanks in advance. I am reading this thread and remain confused. I have a roundtrip award ticket from ORD-PEK on AA. I bought a separate roundtrip ticket PEK-HKG on CX that leaves a couple hours after the AA flight lands and on the return to PEK I have about 10 hours.
Not sure what you confusion is, but your onward travel does not need to be on the same PNR. Just make sure to have a printout (and maybe a few copies) of your itinerary to show you are not just returning to the US from PEK.
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Old Nov 10, 17, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by BOStonTravels View Post
Hi -- thanks in advance. I am reading this thread and remain confused. I have a roundtrip award ticket from ORD-PEK on AA. I bought a separate roundtrip ticket PEK-HKG on CX that leaves a couple hours after the AA flight lands and on the return to PEK I have about 10 hours.
No problem at all. For TWOV, the areas of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are considered valid Non-Mainland destinations.

IF your Nationality allows for TWOV.. !
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Old Nov 10, 17, 7:44 am
  #665  
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Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
No problem at all. For TWOV, the areas of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are considered valid Non-Mainland destinations.

IF your Nationality allows for TWOV.. !
Thanks a lot, I am a US citizen. It seemed straightforward but then I got myself confused reading some posts here!
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Old Mar 12, 18, 10:27 pm
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I've got SFO-LAX-PVG booked and then three days later PVG-NRT-LAX-SFO on a separate JAL ticket which should satisfy TWOV for Shanghai

Has anyone had any experiences with the LAX AA staff recently on these TWOVs for a situation like the above? Reading some of this thread is starting to make me nervous...

Last edited by lds89; Mar 12, 18 at 10:39 pm
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Old Mar 13, 18, 1:45 am
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Originally Posted by lds89 View Post
I've got SFO-LAX-PVG booked and ... Has anyone had any experiences with the LAX AA staff recently ...
It will probably be the SFO staff you should worry about. That is where you will most likely be getting your boarding passes and they will be the ones most likely to look at your passport and note that your documents have been verified...
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Old Mar 13, 18, 2:35 am
  #668  
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
It will work as far as China is concerned. For TWOV purposes, they look at the itinerary as being YVR-PVG-SFO (Canada-China-USA). They care only about the actual plane that brings you to China and the one that takes you out of China. Where you were before and where you'll be after don't matter. The Wiki in the very long relevant thread in the FT China forum goes into great detail about this.

The problem identified in this not-as-long thread are gate agents and check-in agents outside China who don't understand how this works. Admittedly, it does sound odd, but China is perfectly willing to allow this.
ymmv but this is against the rules for twov if you do not have good intent (transit in canada)

Last edited by kaka; Mar 13, 18 at 3:25 am
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Old Mar 13, 18, 6:48 am
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It appears TIMATIC has been updated since the prior incidents. Previously, one would have to "trick" it in order to display the TOWV exemptions by forcing China to be a transit point. Now those VISA exemptions are displayed when China is entered in as the destination as one would logically do when using the tool to verify travel documents for certain itineraries like the one listed above.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by kaka View Post
ymmv but this is against the rules for twov if you do not have good intent (transit in canada)
No. That is incorrect. The transit point is China as far as China's definition of TWOV goes.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 7:55 am
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Unfortunately, an honest discussion of this topic can be difficult since some posters seek to intimidate others. Such intimidation limits the discussion of information and might lead those who use FT as a source of information to not have the full picture. Usage of the word "troll," for example could be seen by others as a way of intimidating people from commenting on this thread.

That being said, there is a TWOV thread in the China forum with good information, although it may be limited because of the intimidation factor. It appears that in most cases, Chinese immigration authorities interpret the term "transit" differently than the common interpretation. As one of the posters above noted, Timatic has been updated and may be more clear than before.

From a ignoring intimidation perspective, there are occasional reports on FT and elsewhere of people who have had difficulties with TWOV, even though they meet the guidance in the TWOV thread on FT.. Additionally, while most people appear to not have problems, you can find a number of reports where individuals are denied visas or entry to China when they otherwise might appear eligible. For example, working at a media company -- even in a non-reporting capacity -- might result in a denial of a visa or entry.

Thus, if you want to be certain, you should consider simply applying for a visa in advance, Otherwise, there are a couple of posters here who will comment on what usually works.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 8:31 am
  #672  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Unfortunately, an honest discussion of this topic can be difficult since some posters seek to intimidate others. Such intimidation limits the discussion of information and might lead those who use FT as a source of information to not have the full picture. Usage of the word "troll," for example could be seen by others as a way of intimidating people from commenting on this thread.

That being said, there is a TWOV thread in the China forum with good information, although it may be limited because of the intimidation factor. It appears that in most cases, Chinese immigration authorities interpret the term "transit" differently than the common interpretation. As one of the posters above noted, Timatic has been updated and may be more clear than before.

From a ignoring intimidation perspective, there are occasional reports on FT and elsewhere of people who have had difficulties with TWOV, even though they meet the guidance in the TWOV thread on FT.. Additionally, while most people appear to not have problems, you can find a number of reports where individuals are denied visas or entry to China when they otherwise might appear eligible. For example, working at a media company -- even in a non-reporting capacity -- might result in a denial of a visa or entry.

Thus, if you want to be certain, you should consider simply applying for a visa in advance, Otherwise, there are a couple of posters here who will comment on what usually works.
I think the basic issue is people who are doing this quick transit are doing elite status runs and don't want the extra time or expense required to get a Chinese visa.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
I think the basic issue is people who are doing this quick transit are doing elite status runs and don't want the extra time or expense required to get a Chinese visa.
There are certainly some attractive J fares going through China but in this case, the recent poster is flying SFO-LAX-PVG, staying for three days, and then returning PVG-NRT-LAX-SFO. I think the TWOV advocates believe that will normally qualify for TWOV (assuming of course, that someone is otherwise eligible for admission to China which they may not otherwise know). However, by any traditional definition, the transit points are LAX on the inbound and NRT and LAX on the return with PVG as the definition. Perhaps the new Timatic instructions will make it clearer but the differences between the traditional definition and transit definition apparently normally applied by the Chinese immigration officials on arrival account for why there are a number of people who have reported on FT and other forums that they have had difficulty on a variety of airlines.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 11:30 am
  #674  
 
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Everyone - thanks for the input. Given this is a work trip; I now have to go to Beijing in addition to Shanghai, and work will pay for expedited visa services; I've just played it safe and gone the visa route. Cancelled the ticket into PVG and am flying into PEK instead. Will be good to hopefully get the 10 year multi entry business visa so I don't have to worry about TWOV again.

From what I understand, the main issue is "interpretations" by US airline staff who do not want to issue BPs, not the authorities in China.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 11:05 pm
  #675  
 
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I disagree with the posters who are using the term "intimidation" here. China has very clear rules about the way it applies its TWOV scheme. Pointing those out is not "intimidating" anybody. It's simply stating the facts.
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